Thursday, March 18, 2010

The glory of the gaming auction, part 2

So the twice-yearly Game Plus gaming auction came and went earlier this month. If you've read this blog much, you'll know that the auction is a fixture in the Chicago gaming scene—literally hundreds of sellers unload their unwanted gaming goods (board games, RPGs, miniatures, everything else) over four frenetic days of bidding. It's almost a convention unto itself, albeit one restricted to a single event.

It's fascinating to attend, because it really gives a sampling of the Midwestern gamer zeitgeist of the each particular year. Last September, for example, D&D 4e products didn't sell (to one commenter's woe). This year, a bunch of older gamers whipped themselves into a bidding frenzy over a string of Middle Earth Roleplay products, which I gather are becoming increasingly hard to find. Each year, a few reliable products command high prices (Deities and Demigods feat. Cthulhu, the D&D little brown books, entire Warhammer 40k armies painted to a decent degree, etc).

In any case, the March auction witnessed an undeniable resurgence of interest in D&D 3.x products. Gently used Players Handbooks and DM Guides consistently sold for $18 to $22 all day long; at the height of the bidding, when the room was packed with a standing-room-only crowd, I watched a 3.5 PHB sell for $38...that's right, more than the original retail price.

I participated heavily, both as a seller and as a buyer. I ended up selling off a bunch of oddball RPGs, assorted board games and random miniatures that I convinced myself I'd never get around to painting. I also put up my entire collection of Star Wars RPG d6 books—this was only a bit sentimental, as the SWRPG constituted my initial foray into roleplaying. But the prequels have forever soured my desire to ever roleplay Star Wars ever again, and I was pleased that my whole pile o' loot sold for more than $200. Sweet!

On the buying front, I ended up sitting through 8+ hours of bidding on Saturday and Sunday with very little to show for it. I was interested in a lot of stuff, but not so interested that I wanted to get in a bidding war with the dude sitting across the room, know what I'm sayin'? I'm going to have to re-think my strategy, especially on the RPG front, because I'm finding that there's not that much I'm really looking for anymore. The gem of the day was a very nice copy of Palladium's Weapons and Castles sourcebook from 1982. This was an excellent buy, given my current fascination with castles sieges (due in no small part to my recent re-reading of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones books).

I fared much better on Sunday, which was dedicated to miniatures. There I picked up two awesome random bags of old, half-painted miniatures from a variety of manufacturers and game system, all for $10 a bag. Between the two bags, I probably scored 35+ individual figures. I got Ral Partha, Grenadier, Citadel and a big pile of figs from the now-defunct manufacturer Adiken. That should keep me painting for a while!

No comments: